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"Duck, Death and Tulip" author wins world's biggest children's literature prize.

Published tisdag 4 april kl 14.33
Jury member: He is a careful and caring visionary
(4:21 min)
"Duck, Death and Tulip" is one of Alma prize winner Wolf Erlbruch's most critically acclaimed books.
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"Duck, Death and Tulip" is one of Alma prize winner Wolf Erlbruch's most critically acclaimed books. Credit: Dave Russell/Radio Sweden
Wolf Erlbruch from Germany won the Alma prize for 2017.
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Wolf Erlbruch from Germany won the Alma prize for 2017. Credit: Noella Johansson/TT

The German illustrator and picturebook author Wolf Erlbruch won the 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, Tuesday, as the jury praised him as "a caring and careful visionary".

Wolf Erlbruch is best known for his illustrations of The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business (1994), but his 2007 picture book, "Duck, Death and Tulip" won him fresh critical plaudits and a host of new admirers. He has written ten books of his own and illustrated nearly fifty titles by other authors.

The jury citation read:

Wolf Erlbruch makes existential questions accessible and manageable for readers of all ages. With humour and warmth deeply rooted in humanist ideals, his work presents the universe on our scale. He is a master of the illustrator’s art who honours tradition whilst opening new creative doors. Wolf Erlbruch is a careful and caring visionary.

Wolf Erlbruch (born 1948) was contacted by the officer of the Astrid Lingren Memorial Award in Stockholm. The previous winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award said he was shocked and honoured.

“Oh Astrid I love you! She didn’t know me but I knew her for a long time through her books, which I love for her humour and sharpness. It’s everybody’s humour, it’s the kind of humour everyone can appreciate. I never believed I would receive this award but now I know it is true. I’m still in a shock and will be for some time. But it’s wonderful!”   

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, is billed as the world's largest awards for children and YA literature with a prize of SEK 5m. The award was established by the Swedish government in 2002 to honour the Swedish author of Pippi Longstocking.

The prize is given to authors, illustrators, oral story-tellers and promoters of reading around the world. This time there were 226 candidates nominated for the prize from 60 countries.

Jury member Elina Druker told Radio Sweden that Erlbruch is an innovative illustrator.

He is highly original in his stories and picturebooks and an innovative illustrator who seems to be developing. He is constantly trying to renew his expressions."

The prize will be presented in a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on 29th May.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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